The Other Side

The Other Side

A Chapter by TabaD
"

The upcoming battle was an unexpected twist for Patrick and Furia. From trainees to trainers... the Bermuda Triangle is full of twists.

"

The Other Side


The Dragon Society, now with The Bermuda Triangle for a home, expended the next two months preparing for the dragons' birthing. Before the food we brought ran out, we learned how to hunt and to provide ourselves with food. We located the main rivers and also learned how to fish from the sea. When our food ran out, including the pigs in the meat locker, we fed ourselves mainly with fish, fruits and seeds, mostly the last two. Only Furia was allowed to go for the meat, and even she had to control herself pretty tightly.


Then it started… during the last week of May, everyone's eggs hatched. At any time, several times a day, someone broke the natural soundtrack of the island with a shout of joy, claiming their dragon to be born. Many times I thought of approaching and seeing the new hatchling, yet I found it more appropriated to wait until after the first contact.


It was shocking to see someone making the first contact. If I hadn't gone through it myself, I would have approached and checked the pulse of that person. When I happened to look in the eye of a new dragon owner, they looked at me with the strangest expression. It was like pure joy; the most grateful "Thank You" someone could ever express.


This island in The Bermuda Triangle, among its other strange characteristics, provided home, not only to the only dragons in the world, but to a weird variety of livestock animals as well. One would think there would be other predators besides dragons in an island that hosts bovines, wild boars, goats, sheep; we did saw many chickens as well. Those animals were most certainly brought to these lands. The only unnatural modification this island suffered was the landing track; everything else had the purpose of making this place into a sanctuary for dragons and their riders. This island was a paradise of no worries, responsibilities nor duties. This island was the only thing left from the old times. Times forgotten, thanks to senseless needs that filled humanity's head; it was our duty to bring those times back.


The island had also one other strange flip on things. Back in the continent Furia and I were the trainees… here in the Bermuda Triangle, we were the trainers. We totally accepted the responsibility, but I had one concern. It worried me that if I dealt with people I overpowered, my current capabilities would decrease. Thankfully, there was a negative answer to my worries. My comrades told me that no matter how long I spend without even using Vital Energy, it doesn't get affected by time or abandon not even my physical state. It was a huge relieve to know that I would always be as strong as I get to be.


Not that the people here needed any training, I just happened to be the only one with live experience on the matter. If anyone needed a little pointer, I was always glad to answer. I noticed something I was unable to help them about raising their dragons, and was the upcoming battle. It was awkward for some of them to relax and just spend time with their young dragons, knowing they had to train them for battle since the moment they got to be mature enough to understand the story their owners carried.


In the lapse of an instant I knew why it was so easy for Furia and I… Innocence… I didn't have in my mind all that I had then. I was completely innocent and ignorant of what was happening in the true world. So I raised Furia to be my pet, then she became my best friend, then the most important being in my life. Now she was my Sister in Arms. Although the new dragon owners would skip some of these phases, I knew they would develop a good bond anyway.


One day, at the beginnings of June, a huge plane landed on the island. Costanzo and his dragon, Ictio, both came to our camp. After a friendly greeting, he offered me to follow him to the landing track. I accepted. The camping site I and my comrades selected wasn't very far from our destiny. We made it to the landing track in less than half an hour. We got down from our dragons and closed to the plane by its tail, and then Costanzo said…


-Look.


The plane's tailgate began to lower open as people gathered up around it. But the people weren't the only ones around, there were dragons scattered all over the place. When the tailgate was completely open, the people got inside and began to unload the cargo, which, to my surprise, was alive. Costanzo noticed the confused expression on my face and said…


-It wouldn't be a surprise if they were unloading eggs, would it?


-Sure wouldn't… more livestock animals?


He chuckled slightly and said…


-Sixty plus dragons are a tough hit to the environment. Even though it can improve; the pace is too slow for such a change.


-We have taken measures to let time do its job.


-I know you have; yet, it wouldn't be fair nor fun to fight a bunch of poorly fed dragons and riders. I want you all to be in your best conditions for the day of our encounter. Hunt as you and your people feel the need to, I will take care of everything else.


-Thanks. Those are great news.


-No need to thank me... in the end, this all goes to my personal gain.


-Still… thanks. I must say… your army was a complete surprise for me when you first mentioned it.


-What did you believe you would find here?


-Just you and your dragon, your grandfather and his dragon, and your father's dragon.


-That information would be correct if you had arrived just a little earlier.


-How much earlier?


-As early as the day you killed Hobbs' City Manager, without mentioning all those guards, using nothing more than Vital Energy. My father saw the tapes from all the security cameras and sent reinforcements, thinking I'm not capable of handling you.


-That can only be determined on the battlefield.


-That is exactly why I made you the offer. One would say "The purest way of making war is by a one-on-one", but what about everyone else? My men wouldn't back off if I got killed and I assume neither would yours if you got killed. That next battle is already won by default by the faction provided with the surviving dragon rider… And it wouldn't even be a battle, that sort of battles are called massacres.


-Luckily none of us is a man of massacres…


It amazes me how Costanzo makes sense, not to mention all the troubles he's saving us from. Furia acknowledged.


Hear ya…


There was silence then, as we watched how the animals were unloaded, we speaking nothing but a sudden comment. As soon as the animals were freed, the tailgate shut itself close; each person ran to a dragon and flew away. So did Costanzo and I, as the plane was preparing to take off again. We landed on the center hill of the island, we were almost parting to our respective camps, but we walked and talked more.


-Who are the Saddlers? -I asked.


-They are the local population of dragons and riders. They have no name for themselves, so we call them the Saddlers for their skill on making dragon saddles.


-Why weren't their dragons wiped out like the rest of the world?


-Our dragons and riders here on guarding duty needed saddles and company. Two problems solved with a little deal… saddles in exchange of dragons.


Furia and Ictio far behind us, they were making sounds and gestures, like if they were having their own conversation. I decided to ask Costanzo about that.


-How do dragons communicate with other dragons?


-Just like animals...They feel the other dragon's unexpressive emotions, thought's and attitudes. We must settle it for today… until saddle time, Rider Patrick.


-Until then, Rider Costanzo.


He gestured at his dragon and it dashed towards Costanzo. He got up, strapped himself to his saddle and took off; leaving me and Furia alone on the ground. We walked a bit before flying to our camp.


Damn it, Costanzo! If you would just listen! I said in my mind, kicking a stone in rage.


Don't bother yourself with that at this height; the guy's got no remedy…


It's not just that… He and I are very alike…


Make sure you keep being the stronger one…


Don't worry, we won't waste a single second from improving ourselves. About something else, you seemed to have a talk with Costanzo's dragon, what did he say?


Ictio is a flatterer. He said it was a shame that we came here just to fight, and that he liked how I killed the other dragon.


I chuckled before saying… Pretty confident dragon, huh? What do you think about him?


I think we shouldn't bet to him being a confident fool, I think he has capacities to be proud of.


Either case, we are going to give them our best.


I went onto her and strapped to the saddle, then we flew to the camp.


Time passed… The newborn dragon owners spent time with their dragons as they grew up. The people took a fraction of the time to train and build themselves. Furia and I soared through the skies and swam in the sea when I was not training. We reviewed our battle against the dragon many times, trying to find flaws in our performances. Although we fought well, we couldn't help ourselves finding out that we didn't have any armor. If the saddles The Saddlers would make for us were like Costanzo's, then they wouldn't provide of much protection either. Now I had another Vital Energy project to master.


-Come on Furia, just do it!


Now you dare to lose your head… isn't it too early?


There is no age limit to go mad, now just do it!


We were at the beach; Furia was facing me, seven meters away.


No, Patrick! This is going too far… I could kill you for f**k's sake!


But you won't, Furia… please…


I looked at her straight in her eyes. Furia arched her neck up and with a grunt she said…


Oh damn it… I'll do it, but don't you dare press forward, at the moment you feel the least tiredness, tell me.


As you order, now bring it on!


Furia leaned her neck forward and exhaled fire at me. I threw my arms forward with open palms and reached for my energy. I generated a shield of my size in front of me; it was slightly curved, not to totally absorb impacts, just redirect them somewhere else. The smoky umbrella in front of me made the fire flow by my sides, above me and to the ground. Just a moment later I felt the results of this new technique.


Cut it, cut it! I yelled within my thoughts.


Furia cut the flames and dashed at me. I was standing, struggling to keep myself on my feet. Joy made me speak up outside of my mind.


-I did it! I told you I could do it!


I thought I burned you when you yelled… I'm glad it worked.


Am I as well… Did you use all of your power?


Of course I didn't…


Then this will be in our training sessions until you do and I'm able to hold it off.


Furia grunted before saying… How I want to just get done with all this…


As do I, let's go swim… I said patting her side.


We then hit the water and swam for the rest of the evening.


With time, I mastered the Chain Blade. I could stab deeply into tree trunks ten meters away, whip it with grace to attack several targets in the blink of an eye and use it for long periods of time. But not only down on the ground; after many times hitting Furia's wings with the non-edged version of the weapon, I learned how to wield it in the sky as well.


This year's September was the month everyone was waiting for. Costanzo and I guided the pack of dragons and their riders in a flight to The Saddlers' territory. The Saddlers had a town; it was like traveling to the past. The houses were small and made of wood with smoke coming out of the chimneys. People were friendly and warm. They had forbidden interacting with us more than necessary, but one could still notice the harmony in their hearts.


They taught every one of us how to saddle our dragons with the new saddles. Furia's old saddle had served us well all this time, but the new one was far easier to deal with. Still learning the steps, I could saddle Furia up in less time than with the old saddle. The new saddles were safer, lighter and more comfortable for both dragon and rider. It was a shame we couldn't spend more time with The Saddlers; as soon as we learned well how to manipulate and deal with the new saddles, we had to go to never come back again.


Along with the whole group, Furia and I gave her new saddle a test. We flew fast and did tricks in the air as if there was someone shooting at us with an anti-aircraft gun. The saddle held incredibly well and was by far more stable than the old one. We couldn't wait for our friends to learn Vital Energy Usage to then simulate dogfights.


That night we were both extremely exhausted; Furia for flying as hard as she could and me for using all aerial techniques within my Vital Energy Weaponry. All in order to test the saddle in all situations we could think of at the moment. We had dinner with the others, talking nothing but Dragon Riding. I hadn't felt so much happiness in the air before.


By this time, everyone had stopped using tents to sleep, not even when it was raining we used tents. They were all covered by their dragons' wing while Furia and I still chilled.


Furia was all stretched and laid on the ground. With my hands behind my head, I was laying on the ground by her side, my eyes aligned with hers. Both of us looking at the stars as the nocturnal sounds served as music for our delight. We stayed like that until Furia curled around me and covered me with her wing.


A week passed just for the new Riders to get used to the sky and for their dragons to develop basic strength, required for what would come really soon. Then began the real training… For the next three months, that's what we did. I trained them; as I was the only one with live experience and this was an immeasurably important part of how we would fight against Costanzo and his men, they no longer asked me for just tiny pointers, they asked me to teach them my experience. And again, Furia and I gladly took the responsibility. A couple of times a day, we leaded the pack in what appeared to be an endurance course. Everyone had to keep up our pace and repeat our maneuvers.


I used the same training techniques Clyde used with me. Extreme Flying became their breakfast, lunch and dinner. When the dragons were all worn out, the riders sparred against each other while their dragons watched and rested. I myself sparred as well against a group of them without using my Vital Energy. Already knowing that my abilities would never rust, it was to show them and motivate them to always become stronger and never stop improving themselves.


When December arrived, they and their dragons were in an incredibly better condition. Their dragons became six months old which meant they were ready to use Vital Energy. I wasn't going to use psychological pressure like Clyde and his friends did with me, it wouldn't result, for everyone here knew what was going to happen now. What I did was pressing each one of them really hard, like making them fight several enemies at once and overall, incredibly hard stuff to accomplish. This part of the process was brutal, but still a kinder garden compared with what I was getting ready in my mind.


The training's priority focus switched from aerial skills to magic skills. Most time of the day everyone trained with magic; flying and crafting new weapons the rest of it. They sparred against each other now using their magical abilities.


We organized big scale events a few times a week; like dividing the group into two teams and then fight until every member of a certain team was unable to fight anymore. Another big scale event was All-against-All battles, where the winner was the last person standing.


Five months later, the same it took me to learn well, they were amazingly skilled, even better than me at that time. We were in the beginnings of May; everyone was quite bruised up from all this time of training. Thirteen months have passed after Costanzo's eighteen months countdown started. Eleven of which we have spent training really hard. I didn't know much about military forces, but I was strongly sure there doesn't exist a military force able to operate both air and earth the same way we could.


We spent that first week of May as a vacation. It wasn't my idea; I actually didn't think we needed it. But I put myself on everyone's shoes; my training had finished very long ago. I was already doing as I desired all this time, though my friends told me it would be good to share these days off along with everyone.


So I played along, no more training for Furia and me for that week. Now that Furia and I weren't doing anything specific, I couldn't help thinking about WHAT we were doing there. I gave a deep thought to our situation in big scale. But most of all, I thought of my family… and the fact that if I died in the upcoming battle, we would never see each other again. I thought of approaching Costanzo and ask him if I could call my dad with the devise he used to call for more livestock. Then I realized it could be a bad idea, everyone would want to call their family. It would be a complete waste of time and it could bring us issues with Costanzo. I decided to call my family myself from The Vatican right when this all was over.


Along with Furia's, my actual situation in the United States seemed to be another issue as well. With eight dead people in my father's lands and who knows how many security guards in Hobbs' City Hall plus its City Manager itself... and not to forget all the police officers and soldiers Furia burnt to ashes outside of the City Hall. We could have the status of terrorists for all this.


Still… Maybe no one knows we are related to those deaths. The Government wouldn't allow the… regular government to get that information. It would raise investigations, scandals of unusual activities going on. People wouldn't feel secure and they would be forced to answer some questions. They would have in their hands what they can't afford to have. They had to protect us in order to protect themselves. Too bad we were on our way to ruin it all; not only for them, but for us as well. If I was going to encourage this world to enter the world of Dragon Riding, then it was our duty to reveal the whole story including my part in it, just as I promised Owen, Wesley and the others.


Once everything was revealed, what would be of the world was out of my reach at the moment. But what would be of Furia and me was crystal clear. We would become the most wanted individuals in the United States, for the murder of Hobbs' City Manager, all of its security guards, countless police officers and soldiers from that same city and eight guys in Lubbock. I did not know whether or not the last eight were real cops… I hope they weren't.


We would turn into public enemies to the world, and heroes to the Dragon Society. Maybe with the support of every member of the Dragon Society around the globe, I could be forgiven, but it wasn't likely, nor would I bet to that possibility. Spending the rest of my life here in the Bermuda Triangle wasn't an option; this was the project of my life, my legacy for the universe. This was something good I could do for the world and I wouldn't miss the results for anything.


Decided to reveal it all, and knowing the consequences of that decision, I asked Furia… What will we do then? And the answer was the one I was expecting… We'll figure something out at the right time. We have a present to live.


That week off was oddly pleasant. The things I realized gave me a new perspective about all Furia and I were facing. It didn't take away the fun, of course. It gave this all more importance and meaning. The battle was the next obstacle for us to live out, yes, but it wasn't the last one. All this that we got involved with, this story in which we were the protagonists wasn't just a story. This was our life… with a new set of challenges we would soon face.


With new strengths, the group resumed training. But now with a new training priority focus. We would combine flying with magic… in other words, aerial combat.


We took the big scale events and upgraded them to the air. We used non-edged weapons in order to prevent severe injuries; we couldn't afford losing a rider trying to heal its dragon from a deadly laceration. That as well is why we didn't took the training into close quarter combat, like when Furia broke the other dragon's neck. We focused in dogfighting skills: agility, maneuvers, quick responses, precision… the whole package.


Getting into a wrestle in midair with another dragon would be the last option to consider and a situation to avoid at all costs. I learned that lesson well from when Furia and I fought the dragon. It didn't matter that we won that encounter, Furia ended up hurt pretty badly anyway. In this battle no one would have the chance to take care of injuries, not when at any moment an enemy rider could pop up from anywhere and put an end to one's days.


For the rest of this month, May, and the last four in Costanzo's countdown, we kept training. We all became hard targets to aim at. We became sharp reflexed with our shields and our dragons with their maneuvers and dogfighting skills. It seemed that the vision trick worked on both sides. One time I was riding Furia long ago, I located the top of my father's lands by reflex right when she found it. Dragons could sense danger with their rider's vision and react to it the same way. We, the Riders, became keen eyed, with precision in our shots and our dragons with their flames.


Each one of us, Rider and Dragon being a single unit, had the dexterity to avoid attacks from at least three enemy riders. Although we were more than Costanzo's army, they still had around two months of experience more than us. We exploited and obtained experience from every situation not only possible, but imaginable as well.


Then arrived the day we were all getting ready for… September the thirtieth. We didn't train that day. It was long and tedious, for no one thought of nothing else than the battle. When the sun began to fall, every Rider and Dragon was at the beach, watching the sunset. As a group, we were optimistic and confident on our abilities and our bigger number of warriors. But individually, each of us knew this would be the last sunset for any of us.


No one said a single word, but I am sure we all thought of the same. All the meals we had together, how we all got to know each other so closely and each other's dragons as well. We were a family. It was horrible to think we would lose someone after doing all we've done and accomplished together.


The sentinel team was set; they would cycle until dawn. The last sentinel on the round would wake us all at sun's birthing. I was leaning against Furia's side, watching the stars. I couldn't take out of my head the worst result possible for me. So it troubled me that Furia sensed there was something disturbing me.


What's wrong? She asked.


I'm afraid of losing you.


Furia brought her head closer to me and hummed gravely for a moment, then she said… Turn legends or turn forgotten…


I smiled and pet her side while saying… we'll do it together.


Then I laid on the ground and stretched, Furia curled up around me and slightly opened her wing to cover me.


I love you, Furia…


I love you too, Pat…


Then we fell asleep, putting an end to the day, and giving the next one the opportunity to rise from the darkness.



© 2015 TabaD


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Added on April 21, 2014
Last Updated on January 7, 2015
Tags: training, war, abilities, team, worth, truth


Author

TabaD
TabaD

Santiago, Dominican Republic



About
My main characteristic as an individual is that I enjoy strong emotions. I like horse riding, off-road driving and gun shooting. I enjoy Metal music mainly, my favorite band is Corroded. I like writin.. more..

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